New program shows Sailors how to InterAct
Theater opens the curtain on sexual assault
"How dare you embarrass me in front of my friends," Matt shouted at Ashley.
The next day, Ashley went to her friends Paul and Nicole to tell them what Matt had done. Nicole didn't know what to say or do and Paul just wanted to avoid the entire conversation. As Ashley tried to cut through the emotion and tell her story, only one thing was becoming clear, she was alone.
That's when two Sailors approached Ashley. They told her it was going to be alright, that she had someone to talk to. A flurry of fear and anxiety rushed out and around her, like an unrelenting torrent, and yet, the Sailors stood by her, helping her take the right steps. She couldn't tell anyone. Why was she talking to these Sailors? She felt herself mumble: "No one will believe me." Then, one of the Sailors reached out to her, looked her dead in the eyes and said: "I believe you."
The audience clapped as the Sailors, who were audience participants, left the stage. They'd made the right choice in listening to Ashley, an actress with the travelling performance troupe interAct.
The group's lead facilitator, Kelly Pfleider walked out in front of the crowd of Sailors and explained how listening can be vital in a sexual assault scenario. Since 2014, the troupe has been travelling throughout the fleet, performing sexual assault scenarios for Sailors at their commands. But there's a twist. As the troupe's name suggests, Sailors are encouraged to get up on stage and interact with the actors.